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San Francisco 4, Abc 4, The City 2, Antonini 2, Cynthia Joe 2, Us 2, Jeremy 1, Anne 1, Marsha Garland 1, Ms. Chapman 1, Hester 1, Linda Avery 1, William Biglow 1, Rick Crawford 1, Fong 1, Steven Cornell 1, Douglas 1, Mr. Crawford 1, Iam Biglo 1, Polk 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    October 30, 2012
    5:30 - 6:00am PDT  

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conditions on. you're the ones they look to and for the zoning or conditional use and if you don't do that the police didn't oppose it and luckily the police are opposing. >> thank you. next speakers. cynthia joe and sue hester. >> i am cynthia joe. i was a planning commissioner from 1996 to 2002 so time flies when you don't have to listen to the fellow commissioners comments. i am here to honor linda's retirement. "i better not cry. i better not show. i am telling you why she is retiring today". well linda we want to you thank for being even handed and efficient in serving the city and we wish you god's blessing in your retirement. we love
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you. >> thank you. >> sue hester. i thought it was most appropriate for me to come to talk to linda where i normally am at the planning commission. 31 years is a long time. 31 years ago the plan was being developed. i lived at 20th and douglas. i didn't live in bern nal heights. we have been at least three cycles of the economy in san francisco. we have had boomer bust cycles at least three times since linda has been working here, and i am very heartened. i am
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disheartened by linda's retirement but hearted by the planning commission that used the services of the secretary as you heard. the commission secretary position as commissioner antonini has heard me say is only second to the board of supervisors clerk in importance in the city. it is the place where the public has the interface with the commission, and with the department. it is that seat right here, and i cannot stress how much that linda occupying that seat has been important because it is -- she is not only your representative when you're talking to the staff, but the public's representative when we are talking to commission and the staff, and linda is very, very important, and i wish her
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well. i don't wish her retirement. i wish she was still here. it's my selfishness and i am sorry for my selfishness but we have to acknowledge none of us have lasted 31 years. no staff member, no commissioner, but the commission secretary. it is hugely important to the public and i wish linda you recognize that. the office of the commission secretary is very, very large to the public, and thank you for your good job. the flowers are a tiny, tiny little certificate and anyone who doesn't understand how important this job is needs to have their head examined. it is really important to me, to you, to the planning department, and to the city attorney. we all
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need a good competent secretary of the planning commission, and so her rafor linda and i put down what was going in 1981 in my life and the planning commission's life and it was shocking and we have all great hair since then. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> any additional general public comment? okay. seeing none next item please. >> thank you. commissioners, you are now at your regular calendar. item number 13. for westportal avenue and request for conditional use authorization. there is a request for continuous from the project sponsor to november 29. staff supports this and it's my understanding that the neighborhood organization that was in support of this also supports the continuous. >> okay. public comment on
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this item? seeing none is there a motion to continue? commissioner antonini. >> moved to continue item 13 to november 29. >> commissioners the motion on the floor is for continuous of item 13 on westportal avenue on november 29. to that motion. commissioner. >> aye. >> commissioner. >> aye. >> commissioner. >> aye. >> commissioner. >> aye. >> thank you commissioners. the item is continued to november 29. commissioners, you are now on item 14, for 1327 polk street, request for conditional use authorization. >> good afternoon president fong and commissioners. i am rick crawford and before i comment i
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would like to thank linda avery for her many years of service to the planning commission. thank you. >> thank you. >> this is for the existing bar, the poor house polk street and allowed a wine store with tastings on the property. however the business opened as a bar and selling beer and wine by the glass and operating as a bar since 2005. the planning code discouraging eating and drinking establishments from occupying more than 25% of the frontage within 300 feet of a new bar within the commercial district. 30% of this is dedicated to eating and drinking uses. 16 businesses within 300 feet of the project site have on site exactly licenses from abc.
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eating and drinking establishments occupy 28-point 5% of the frontage within the district. in spite of the concentration of food and beverage establishments the planning department requests the support for legalization of this business but in this instance the project is a continuation of a existing use and would not increase the kons kraigz and dranking establishments beyond what exists today. in addition they have been operating at this location for seven years without incident . the planning department didn't get complaint until the conditional use of authorization was filed. the department receivedded of support from 46 area residents and businesses and petition with 96 signatures. the department had received one email from a neighbor objecting to the project because of concerns
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because of the proliferation of alcohol related uses in the neighborhood. commissioners in the last 24 hours the neighborhood association has withdrawn their support and opposes the legalization and the lower polk neighbors withdraw their support and misrepresentations and concerns about loud music at the bar. this was a concern the department wasn't aware of until the last 24 hours? a. the police department has withdrawn the support and now opposes the legalization. i tried to contact the police department to determine what their concerns were but i haven't been able to reach them and we got a letter from the russian hill community objecting to the legalization. the department recommends approval while complying with the
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planning code and continues the neighborhood serving retail use. i will be happy to answer any questions. thank you very much. >> thank you. project sponsor. >> good afternoon commissioners. marsha garland and public come comment relations with the project sponsor and also known as well. iam biglo. what happened to linda? >> she retired. >> i wanted to add i of coming here for 25 years and linda is the constant getting through the intimidating process. thank you very much. the only time i have seen her privately is in the
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bathroom or on north beach when she was looking for an italian restaurant and thank you very much for your service and help. we're here to discuss poor house on polk. this is a business that has been been for eight years and there is some ambiguity in the language used in the original conditional use permit because it refers to a retail wine store and wine tasting room defined as a liquor store and bar, so anyway because of the customers demand the bar become -- i mean the wine tasting concept more of a bar concept. this business employs seven people, several of whom live in the area. there have been no incidents and there was tremendous support until the last 24 years there was a rush
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to ditch the boat. it has a limited live entertainment permit with all the rules and regulations in place that would mean he would have his permit revoked if he didn't stop the music at ten, so there are many checks and balances in place. this business is only open until 12 midnight and the goal here is to maintain and sustain a business in a block that i am very familiar with because i had a friend that lived at the hotel and i will tell you walking down there yesterday it's a vastly improved block. the businesses are looking wonderful, the architecture and the decor and i will turn it over. >> good afternoon. i am william biglow and i am the owner of the poor house. in
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2005 i came before you to request a permit and since that time i have had no complaints by the police department, the fire department and visited by the alcohol controller and we got two under age decoys and got letters of accommodation for catching the decoy. today i am asking permission to legitimize my business and operate as a wine bar and retail store. my place is not the place that has any adverse impact on the community. it's an extension of somebody's living room and sit down and enjoy conversation and become educated about wine. i have met with the neighbors and the residential and the commercial neighbors. there are two persons that i know object to this but on the whole 98% of
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the neighbors do approve of my let -- i am pleased to say the bad activities have decreased while i have been there. i ask you to save my business and the jobs of my employees. thank you very much. >> thank you. opening it up for public comment on this item. you can put it on the bench. if there are many speakers and line up on the left side it's easier to cue up. >> hello. i am jeremy. good afternoon everybody. i live on bush street and employee at the poor house. i am also a student for the past year getting my masters. i really like working on the poor house and the nice
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atmosphere compared to a lot of the stuff on polk. a lot of the places are club areas and stuff like that, and really hard liquor but the poor house is more of a lounging area where people get to lounge and actually talk to each other and have a very relaxed conversation, and i feel that by losing that it would probably lose that kind of vibe in that area, and i don't think that's a good idea. >> thank you. >> commissioners i am frank and i am with the homeowners association. mr. crawford referred to us having approved this. that's not quite correct. ten months ago we talked to him and the conditional use was for a bar and they wanted to extend the hours and they were for the bar to operate as it was and not extending the hours. we oppose
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the extension of hours for liquor establishmentos polk street. with that being said this hearing is not about how nice the bar is, how nice the owners are, or who comes up here and talks. it's about a establishment that has been running seven years disregarding the conditional use. they were supposed to be i wine store with tasting. they have been operating as a bar for seven years. if they get this conditional use why would any business in san francisco adhere to the conditions? they would ignore them and get rewarded for ignoring them seven years later. even the wording, the legalization, implies it's ln illegal for seven years. i urge you not to pass it. make the conditional use process mean something in this city. thank
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you. >> >> i am david and i have known william for for three years and i am a small businessman myself owning retail stores and in my opinion a conditional use permit allows exactly for what is going on there. if you're allowed to buy a bottle of wine or taste it before you purchase it that's exactly what is going on there. it's a casual environment compared to some of the clubos polk street and having lived in the area i really like the environment of it. i think it's a great use of it, and i think it really does clean up a lot of what is going on down there, and i think he's doing the neighborhood a great service by toning it down because if you ever stepped there on a friday or saturday night it's scary and that's a nice quiet place and it does feel like your living room and i feel he's using it like
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it's proposed. you can try the wine before you buy a bottle and you don't have to worry about getting run over in the street so i am in favor of it. >> thank you. >> hi there. i am -- [inaudible]. i am a semi new resident of san francisco. let's been almost a year now but since i of living here on moving one of the first places i met a friend after work was at the poor house, and it was intimidating coming into the big city but i found this place it's very comfortable. i felt -- i mean -- i frequent there about twice a month and meet up with girlfriends and me and my friends feel comfortable there. it's relaxed atmosphere. we
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are not approached by someone who might be extremely intoxicated and unsafe for walking outside for any reason, and recently since i have been going there the improvements made me more comfortable and, i feel like it would be a disservice to many young professionals like myself who do enjoy the atmosphere of that location. >> thank you. >> hi. i am gladys black and i live a block from the bar, the poor house, and i am a nurse, and i am a regular customer of the bar, and after work i go to this bar with my friends, and i can totally say that this bar is a very nice and quiet place to go and have a glass of wine with my friends, and it is also a
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safe place to go and hang out with friends, so i hope you help him move forward with his business. thank you. >> thank you. tom and linda chapman i have a card from you. >> hi. i am lynn tom and i moved from new york city and moved here may of 2010. i love the neighborhood. i have no problems with the poor house being a business, but the problem with them is they have the windows wide open at night where the noise travels. i live directly across the street. i have called numerous times complaining about them. i emailed captain anne man ox and didn't hear of the complaints until i addressed them to her. like i said i have no problem. they can do their business. they can stay alive. it
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doesn't matter. i want my rest. i want my peace and quiet. i moved from a big city to this wonderful city. i love it here but i want to live in harmony with them. i want my peace and quiet. i want to sleep at night and when they do have live entertainment oh my god i wish you were in my living room and hear the noise. that's all i have to say but thank you very much for listening. >> thank you. ms. chapman. >> okay. i will say what frank and if you vote for this, to approve this, to legalize it call the university back and you're going to legalize them because when i went to their hearings for the scoping of the eir and there were numerous people that came from schools
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and all the wonderful things that they do and contribute but nevertheless they were doing illegal things and i heard anger from this commission about it. what is happening here? what is the department doing? why is the staff giving you misleading information in this case? i mentioned before in the army they said the generals were being treated like mushrooms, you know, kept in the dark and stuff shoveled at them. what about my things? asking for enforcement that never happened. instead of the enforcement and goes back to february of this year and maybe before. i went into my email and recovered what i could and i checked with abc when he began expanding. he got an entertainment license and people were complaining it was running after the 10:00 p.m.
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and the noise and people ask what is up stairs? a senior project. and why did the conditional use permit say it won't be a bar and emphasized that. perhaps the commissioner who was here at this time of the discussion unfortunately left for a while but maybe some of the you here. why does it say over and over? maybe it was a senior housing project and put in a retail wine shop and not harmful and you figure those that were here figured it would be harmful to have a bar in a senior housing project so the fact it's there and making them awake and making them suffer for seven years and the neighbors in the condos suffer for seven years is supposed to make it right. i got the abc application at the time and told they couldn't be a bar and has a check list and what are you applying for?
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retail store, bar -- applying for bar and then when they checked with the department and ran into the issue with lod and yeah it's approved bar and of course we knew and you said over and over again it can't be a bar. the managers in the senior housing they're not going to talk about it. they're not supposed to influence people or whatever but they filed 40 protest -- not against this one but on polk and they were driven by the noise up and down the street and they didn't want another bar and abc dismissed them all and they're old people that speak chinese and don't go to the hearings. you have to protect the people. it's like the mafia in this neighborhood. >> thank you. >> hello i don't speak good english but i will try. i am hear to support william's bar
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and i have been in this country for 12 years -- >> can you state your name? >> [inaudible] and profession work for condominiums and construction and the cc&r's and how they can be confusing. i am not here to support this or running the bar, but i will say this that neighborhood for the last 12 years has improved. if you walk down the street and see many bars that have hard liquor sales. they make much more noise than this bar. it's very comfortable. it made many social network friends and today i am married with a young girl rose anna who moved from minnesota and we met in the bar and as a financial controller would like to encourage a warlike this and successful and in this economic situation we
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shouldn't be discouraging this but to run the business successfully. thank you. >> thank you. >> my name is gary neverland and i lived in san francisco since 1980 and i have seen a lot of bars and this place is not -- there's no other place around. this rarely would be considered a bar in comparison. it's a place to go buy a bottle of wine, try it, and take it and leave it. it's really more akin to the living room and lounge where people can talk. i didn't move on polk street and expect a lot of quiet. but when i first came to polk street it was scary. it was nothing like it is now. liam's place since he
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open today have really contributed to the place being more much enjoyable. i never used to go to polk street. i would just go through it, but now it's the nicest place around. it's really calm. it's quiet. they rarely have music. they do but not often enough that i of able to participate very much. he's such a nice guy. the lady that complained that the doors were open. if she went and closed the windows i know he would do it in a minute. he wants to be nice and help people and contract. he's a fantastic guy. >> >> thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker please. >> good afternoon. i am steven cornell and i own a hardware store two and a half blocks where this place is. what
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bothers me as a business person and there for seven years and got a permit and maybe they're not doing what they're supposed to but nobody stopped them after all this time and putting money into the business and doing different stuff and possibly closed for something that is going on that nobody ever called them on that's pretty tough after making all that kind of investment. i have been on the street. i actually went to elementary school a block and a half from there so if we're going to talk about longevity i have quite a bit of it. the street has changed a lot and to the better but the idea of closing a business or changing a business and letting it run for seven years that's not fair to any business. thank you. >> good afternoon commissioners. i steffen and for the last nine
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months i have been helping liam in his outreach to the community instructing him individually to knock on doors, talk to all relevant significant people in the neighborhood, all relevant bodies, engage and come up with one question. what's the best possible outcome that we can here that the community experience? and there was almost hundred letters of response and collectively, individually and i find it odd in the last 24 hours at the midnight hour a few people sent in -- rescinding some of the support for the project. i don't believe that is good outreach on behalf of the oh organizations too. good outreach is when it's early and often and on going. we don't have a problem unless we want to create one. he takes
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accountability for opening the wine bar and wine retail and now asking to evolve into a wine bar and almost the same experience, slightly different in this regard. you're still pooring the wine into the glass and the customers may make a purchase off the rack. the place is so comfortable neighbors got together, they have a conversation, and instead of purchasing the bottle they want another glass and that's what the experience changes, and that's what makes it. it's a subtle difference, a technicality but in fact a difference, and that's he's here asking for permission to evolve into something that the neighbors have supported for almost seven years, so we can regress, go back, reconfigure the space. probably make